Background: Hydatid disease is a serious health hazard and a major problem to the community in Iraq. The disease is still endemic as witnessed in everyday surgical practice. The aim of this prospective study was to review the management of pulmonary hydatid disease (PHD) in two major thoracic surgical centers (Ibn-Alnafis and Medical City Teaching Hospitals), Baghdad, Iraq over one year period. Materials and Methods: Sixty six patients (38 females and 28 males) with PHD admitted and treated surgically in the Departments of Thoracic Surgery in the aforementioned hospitals were studied. Demographic and clinical features were obtained by direct patients’ interviews and thorough physical examination. The diagnosis in the vast majority of patients was based on plain chest radiography while few had bronchoscopy. All patients had posterolateral thoracotomy for removal of pulmonary hydatid cysts (PHC). The clinical and radiographic findings as well as operative procedures and postoperative complications were reviewed. Results: The age ranged from two and a half years to 60 years with a mean of 22.3. Sixty percent of patients were in second and third decades. Most patients (n = 51, 77%) lived in rural areas. Housewives and students predominated. A positive family history was obtained in 5. Cough, chest pain, dyspnoea and haemoptysis were the main symptoms whereas 15 were acutely ill. Three patients presented with pathognomonic expectoration of laminated membrane and 2 had intra-pleural cyst rupture. The total number of cysts was 99 (61 intact, 50 solitary, and 55 unilateral). The right lung was more frequently involved (n = 64) and right lower lobe was on the top. Cyst size ranged from 3 to 25 cm with a mean of 8.5. The main radiographic appearance was the “full moon against dark sky” visible in 61.6%. Abdominal ultrasound was carried out in 40 patients who revealed 12 hepatic and one splenic HCs. Lung preserving surgery was done in 76 cysts (91.5%) while lobectomy was necessary in 7. Capitonnage was used in 16 cases only (19.2%). Two patients had lung decortication and four had trans-diaphragmatic removal of liver HCs. Few complications developed mostly managed conservatively. Reoperation was necessary in 4 patients (prolonged air leak, n = 2 and bleeding, n = 2). Two patients died (3%). Conclusion: PHC is endemic in Iraq, mainly diagnosed by plain chest radiography, and can be safely managed by lung preserving surgery with minimal morbidity and mortality.
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